Family fun planned at Pithole Saturday

Drake Well Museum and Park are busy preparing for their 2020 Cabin Fever Party at Historic Pithole City on Saturday. The event will feature sled riding, hot cocoa and cookies, tales of days gone by and crafts.

Residents in the Titusville area are invited to shake of the winter blues and join Drake Well Museum and Park for the Pithole “Cabin Fever Party” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Historic Pithole City located at 14118 Pithole Road, just off Route 227 near Plumer, Pa.

If the hillsides of the legendary boomtown are blanketed in snow, participants can bring a sled and ride down the streets of the vanished city or build a snowman and warm up by the bonfire. Visitors can also  head to the visitor center, thaw out with a cup of hot cocoa and a cookie, listen to the tall-tales and entertaining yarns of Bill Stumpf, play games and make a craft. Volunteers will be on hand to share some of the site’s fascinating history.

Site Administrator Melissa Mann said, “We look forward to hosting the Cabin Fever Party every year. The slopes of Pennsylvania’s legendary oil boomtown were made for sledding.” 

“We are happy that we can open the doors to the community and hold this event free-of-charge, thanks to our donors and volunteers. Despite how much snow (may be) on the ground, it will be a great time!”

The history of Pithole and petroleum began in January, 1865 when the wildcat Frazier Well struck oil, launching an oil frenzy. Four months later, Col. A.P. Duncan and George C. Prather purchased land on Holmden Farm and laid out 500 lots for lease, which founded Pithole City. By September, 15,000 people lived in Pithole and the city boasted 57 hotels, three theaters, a daily newspaper and the third busiest post office in Pennsylvania. But, Pithole declined almost as rapidly as it grew. The oil ran dry and major fires decimated wells and the city’s hastily-constructed wooden buildings. By December 1866, Pithole’s population was less than 2,000. Today, all that remains of Pithole City are cellar holes in the hillside meadow, but the legend lives on.

Admission is free and additional information about the event and Historic Pithole City is available at www.drakewell.org, by calling (814) 827-2797.

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